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The OSA BIOMED Meeting Day 1: Things are heating up in Miami

Kyle Quinn

In the spectrum of different optical resolutions and penetration depths, few modalities are capable of imaging dense biological tissue, such as skin, beyond a couple millimeters of depth with sub-millimeter resolution. Optical Coherence Tomography, for example, will typically only provide adequate signal-to-noise at depths of up to 1-2mm. Dr. Wax shared some recent work using multispectral multiple scattering LCI (ms2LCI), which enables the collection of photons that have undergone a number of low-angle scattering events. Similar to current OCT methods, it utilizes Fourier-domain acquisition to provide rapid acquisition and also a source of spectroscopic information.

The collection of both absorption spectra and structural information at depths beyond 2mm with ms2LCI is potentially advantageous for a number of biomedical problems. One such application discussed in the session was the non-invasive assessment of burn depths. Determining the depth of burns is critical for determining whether interventions, such as skin grafts, are necessary following partial thickness (2nd degree) or full thickness (3rd degree) burns that can span depths ranging from 1mm to 1cm. While ms2LCI is a promising tool for the early characterization of burn injuries, a number of other optical approaches are being developed and refined for assessing burn wounds as well. Laser Doppler and laser speckle imaging has been used in the past to determine the extent of blood flow following burn injury, which is a critical factor in facilitating the healing process. Over the next couple days, I also look forward to chatting with colleagues utilizing polarized light in different imaging modalities, which has the potential to assess burn injuries by exploiting the natural birefringence of dermal collagen.

Image for keeping the session alive